Launching of the war March 19, 2003

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www.pantagraph.com The Pantagraph Thursday, March 20, 2003 A7 End of the road: War on Iraa Fight against terror led up " to confrontation ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON, D.C. Just a year ago, Saddam Hussein " was an afterthought for Americans Americans still adjusting to a life of ' color-coded color-coded color-coded danger and home- home- ,; land vigilance. Gradually, inescapably, with . rhetoric building from luke- luke- 1 warm to hot, President Bush nudged aside Osama bin Laden as public enemy No. 1 and .' placed Saddam on the spot. This journey to war with Iraq began with the ruins of the " World Trade Center still burn- burn- ' ing, when Bush told troops the Afghan war was just the start in a ' struggle against threats to America. America. "Across the world and across the years," he said back then, "we will fight these evil ones." Now the journey culminates with diplomacy exhausted, the ' armed forces attacking. Along the way, Bush faced a nuclear-tipped nuclear-tipped nuclear-tipped crisis with North Korea, an economy undercutting undercutting the job and retirement retirement security of Americans, fears of Iran closing in on nuclear nuclear weapons of its own, bin Laden still at large, and allies snubbing his course with Iraq. Still he kept his focus on Saddam. Saddam. "One of the striking things is how quickly Iraq began to come into focus after 9-11," 9-11," 9-11," said Clarence Wyatt, associate professor professor of history at Centre Col- Col- lege in Danville, Ky "Nine-11 "Nine-11 "Nine-11 provided an immensely power- power- The road to war After months of deadlines, diplomacy and failed disarmament by Iraq, the United States, with the support of Great Britain, Spain and other launchede military action against Iraq Wednesday night. . w-m w-m w-m U.N. inspectors resumed their work in Iraq In November. AP U Uf-j Uf-j Uf-j ' a rr afc. nm i ap SEPTEMBER 2002.: Sept. 12 - President Bush urges the U.N. General Assembly to "hold Iraq to account." America is prepared to act alone if necessary. OCTOBER NOVEMBER J , I I AP Oct. 16 - Bush signs resolution approved by Congress Congress authorizing authorizing him to use force against Iraq. Now. 8 - U.N. Security Council unanimously passes Resolution 1441 ordering Iraq to disarm and provide U.N. inspectors unrestricted access or face "serious consequences." 13 - Iraq accepts U.N. resolution. 27 - Formal Inspections begin, almost a month before the 45-day 45-day 45-day deadline set by 1441. 12,000 pages -one -one day before deadline. AP DECEMBER Dec. 7 - Iraq delivers 12,000-page 12,000-page 12,000-page declaration on its weapons program one day ahead of deadline. Dec. 19 - Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei say Iraq's declaration is not a full accounting. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says Iraq "totally failed" to meet U.N. demands. JANUARY 2003 ' Jan. 27 - Blix reports Iraq has not proved it eliminated illegal weapons; ElBaradei finds no evidence of resumption of nuclear program to date. 28 - In his State of the Union address, Bush says "if Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, we will lead a coalition to disarm him." FEBRUARY Feb. 14 -Inspectors -Inspectors report Iraqi cooperation is "merely adequate." France draws U.N. applause for stating there is not yet a justification for war; majority of Security Council want inspections to continue. 24 - U.S., Britain, and Spain submit resolution resolution stating Saddam has missed the "final opportunity" to disarm peacefully. U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix. ; march March 1 - Blix submits report as mandated by Resolution 1284; deadline set by Blix for destruction of Iraq's Al Samoud 2 missiles. 7 Britain offers amendment, setting March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm. 17 - U.S., Britain and Spain withdraw resolution; U.N. orders inspectors to leave Iraq. 19 U.S.-led U.S.-led U.S.-led coalition launches war to disarm Iraq. SOURCES: Council on Foreign Relations; Associated Press ful piece of ammunition for the president to explain and rationalize rationalize going after Iraq." The first salvos were fired without naming their target, although although behind the scenes the Bush administration was already already focusing on throwing over Saddam. During a Thanksgiving visit with Fort Campbell, Ky., soldiers, soldiers, two months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush praised the troops in Afghanistan and spoke of carrying carrying the fight to other nations that support terrorists. "Afghanistan is just the beginning beginning of the war against terror," terror," he said, broadening it to include other, as-yet as-yet as-yet unidentified, unidentified, "evil ones." The following January, in his first State of the Union address, Bush startled the world by labeling labeling three nations Iraq, Iran and North Korea "an axis of evil." That speech set out the reasoning reasoning that would guide Bush to confrontation with Iraq. He hinted at the possibility of pre-emptive pre-emptive pre-emptive strikes against nations nations before they could share nuclear or biological weapons with terrorists. And he began laying out a world view, built around the war on terrorism, that some analysts analysts say rivals the Cold War in its sweep. "What President Bush is trying trying to do is create an overarching overarching vision as powerful as the Cold War framework, that everything everything you do as a society can be explained within," Wyatt said. The speech rattled nerves around the globe, and Bush's aides responded with reassurances reassurances that the president had no AP war plans against any of the three nations, yet. At home that winter, the public public focus remained on securing airports, the FBI's hunt for terrorists terrorists and the new system of color-coded color-coded color-coded terror alerts. The administration administration was planning strategy strategy for selling its Iraq policy. Over the summer, Bush's deputies began laying out the case. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called Iraq a "terrorist "terrorist state." National Security Adviser Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Saddam's willingness to de stroy his neighbors makes "a very powerful moral case, for regime change." Vice President Dick Cheney warned that Iraq must not be allowed to build a nuclear bomb. By the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush had effectively changed the subject from al-Qaida al-Qaida al-Qaida to Iraq. The Pentagon Pentagon had drawn up detailed options options for running a war. On Sept. 12, Bush told the United United Nations either to crack down on Iraq or to stand aside while the United States acts alone. In October, Bush won congressional congressional authorization for military military force if necessary, after debate debate that found Democrats mostly mostly supportive or at least passive in their dissent. Polls indicated public support for war, too. On Nov. 8, Bush's position at home strengthened by elections giving him a new Republican-controlled Republican-controlled Republican-controlled Congress, Bush won unanimous approval in the U.N. Security Council for a resolution demanding that Iraq disarm or face "serious consequences." It was a high point in the campaign. campaign. After that, the diplomatic effort effort fell into disarray as longtime longtime U.S. allies demanded more time for Saddam to disarm. Bush's rhetoric only hardened. hardened. For his second State of the Union, he enhanced his description description of Iraq's danger. "Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans this time armed by Saddam," Saddam," Bush said. "It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. " France, Russia, Germany insist U.S. action illegal ASSOCIATED PRESS UNITED NATIONS The most outspoken opponents of military action against Iraq France, Russia and Germany insisted Wednesday the United States will be acting illegally illegally if it attacks Iraq and overthrows Saddam Hussein. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the U.N. Security Security Council that no U.N. resolution resolution authorized military action action or "the violent overthrow of the leadership of a sovereign sovereign state." There are also "no indisputable indisputable facts" to demonstrate that Iraq threatens the United States, he said. If there were, the Bush administration could exercise its right under the U.N. Charter to respond in self-defense. self-defense. self-defense. Last-minute Last-minute Last-minute meeting The foreign ministers of Russia, France and Germany attended an open council meeting held only hours before before the clock ran out on a Wednesday evening deadline set by President Bush for Saddam Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face war. Though the Bush administration administration has said the time for diplomacy was over, the ministers ministers made a point of attending to reaffirm their opposition to war and assert the primacy of the United Nations. Declaring that military intervention intervention "has no credibility," Germany's Joschka Fischer also stressed, "There is no basis basis in the U.N. Charter for a regime change with military means." French Foreign Minister Dominique Dominique de Villepin reiterated his country's contention that a Assoclated Press President Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday night. Nations opposed opposed to war against Iraq say Bush's order to attack without U.N. support was illegal. war would not only be illegal but would exacerbate the tensions tensions and divisions on which "terrorists feed." The three ministers did not say they would raise the issue in the council after a war begins. begins. They insisted the U.N. Security Security Council would have a role in the aftermath of war. Predicting "imminent disaster" disaster" for the people of Iraq, Secretary-General Secretary-General Secretary-General Secretary-General Kofi Annan implored implored the United States and its allies Wednesday not to forsake forsake humanitarian aid when the fighting starts. "This is a sad day for the United Nations," Annan said. "I know that millions of people around the world share this sense of disappointment and are deeply alarmed." U.S. planning massive attack SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE After a fitful, six-month six-month six-month buildup, the U.S. campaign to oust Saddam Hussein began Wednesday night. It likely will not be until dark falls again that a full offensive will begin. begin. If and when that assault finally erupts, it is expected to be a volcanic cascade of bombs and missiles that has been billed as a historically massive assault. If things go as the Pentagon has planned, the most lethal fighting force ever assembled assembled will then stage a nonstop, 48-hour 48-hour 48-hour strike with an unprecedented 3,000 new-age new-age new-age bombs and missiles aimed at Iraq's tattered military. The goal of the first hours of warfare would be to "shock and awe" President Saddam Saddam Hussein's army now one-third one-third one-third the strength it was in the lopsided 1991 Persian Gulf War into the immediate realization that it is utterly futile to put up a fight with such a mighty war machine. "The (idea) is to have such a shock on the system (so) that the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end is inevitable," inevitable," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Richard Myers said recently During the first Gulf War, Saddam's troops collapsed in mass surrender after 38 days of air pounding and a 100-hour 100-hour 100-hour ground war. Now, US. military leaders hope, the combat will be at least that quick, if not swifter. That is because U.S. forces wield 10 times the punch they did then, analysts say The jaw-dropping jaw-dropping jaw-dropping cruise missiles and other precision precision weapons that debuted during the first war made up just 10 percent of the ordnance ordnance that slammed into Iraqi targets. Now, new versions of those revolutionary revolutionary satellite- satellite- and laser-guided laser-guided laser-guided explosives will comprise about 80 percent, making the possibly coming combat the most high-tech high-tech high-tech m m j,- j,- Pulitzer News Service Sgt. 1st Class James Woodert from Los Angeles, left, and 2nd Lt. Chris Heiliger, right, : both of the 11th Signal Brigade, walked out of a bunker where they were to collect and : take shelter as part of a chemical and biological weapons drill Wednesday In Kuwait. I and precise in history. In fact, war plans call for lobbing more bombs and missiles at Baghdad in the first night of war than the city took during the entire 1991 conflict. "Unless there are unusual circumstances, you are talking about a war that will take days or weeks, but not more than that," said retired Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor, who co-wrote co-wrote co-wrote a book on the first Gulf War. For the White House and Pentagon, success success in the most polarizing U.S. military en deavor since the Vietnam War will be met if Saddam is disarmed of his weapons of mass destruction, his regime is obliterated and Iraqis are liberated from two decades of the strongman's brutal control. ',' Unlike the first conflict, which entailed 38 days of heavy bombing before the ground war kicked off, this offensive has been built around the military concept of "simultaneity" which, simply translated, translated, means many things happening at once. .4 . PROP""- PROP""- r 2329 Springfield Rd., BL (Frontage road ofl S. 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Clipped from The Pantagraph20 Mar 2003, ThuPage 7

The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)20 Mar 2003, ThuPage 7
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